PM acknowledges rising sea levels, but refuses to rule out public funding for Adani
The Prime Minister has accepted sea levels are rising and threatening national security but refused to rule out using public money to subsidise the Adani coalmine, which will churn out fossil fuels and fundamentally threaten our way of life, when asked by Greens MP and spokesperson for climate change, Adam Bandt, in Question Time yesterday.
“Malcolm Turnbull’s love affair with coal means he’s happy to use public money to threaten our way of life,” said Mr. Bandt.
"The PM acknowledges the security implications of rising sea levels but then affirms his government’s support for subsidising a giant coal mine. The Prime Minister is clearly beholden to big coal and the climate deniers in his backbench.
“While Malcolm Turnbull spruiks coal, Australia’s emissions are going up and the planet is burning. The person that used to believe in action on climate change has vanished.
“With Labor and the government working together to fast-track Adani, The Greens are the only party standing against this disastrous mine and the climate catastrophe it will accelerate.
“It’s global warming, not stopping Adani, that will ‘shatter the living standards of Australians’”.
Media Contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054
Mr Bandt’s full question and the Prime Minister’s answer:
My question is to the Prime Minister. Senior members of the US military and national security establishment last night warned on Four Corners that climate change is a massive security threat, with sea level rise and droughts fuelling conflict and terrorism. Do you agree that there are national security implications from climate change?
If so, given that most fossil fuel reserves need to stay in the ground to meet the two-degree limit we agreed to in Paris, will you rule out letting the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility or any other public money subsidise the Adani coalmine and associated infrastructure, or are you happy to use taxpayer funds to threaten our way of life?
The Prime Minister:
I thank the honourable member for his question. As the honourable member would be aware, the government is very alert to the risk of climate change and the national security implications—particularly of rising sea levels, particularly in our region—that it involves, and of course we have substantial programs right through the Pacific in particular to help our neighbours in the Pacific deal with the consequences of rising sea levels and all of the security implications thereof.
As far as the Adani coalmine is concerned, I would simply say this to the honourable member: I understand that he and his party want to prohibit all coalmining in Australia. I understand that; that is their policy. Were Australia to stop exporting coal tomorrow, not only would billions of dollars of export revenue be lost, not only would thousands of jobs be lost but there would be no benefit to the global climate whatsoever, because if our coal exports stopped, they would simply be sourced from other countries—obviously Indonesia and Columbia being two that spring to mind immediately, but there are many others. The reality is that the Australian coal industry produces coal of a cleaner quality, a higher quality, than many of its competitors, with low sulphur and low ash. If our exports were stopped, as the honourable member would do, it would achieve nothing except to reduce the living standards of Australians and absolutely shatter the lives and livings of the communities that depend on the coal industry. It would be an exercise in ideological futility and an exercise that—I have to say to the honourable member, with great respect—is so characteristic of his party, which seems to want to de-industrialise Australia for no purpose other than an ideological one.